Tasting laws for beverage alcohol products can vary in several ways from state to state. In this video, Ryan Malkin, Principal Attorney at Malkin Law P.A., touches on the legal considerations that brands must make before crafting a tasting strategy in a new market.

For spirits, tastings involve offering quarter-ounce samples given to consumers to try before they purchase a full bottle. Malkin emphasizes the importance of tastings in new markets to help consumers understand what they are buying before making a purchase. Tastings help consumers make informed decisions, especially when switching from one brand to another.


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When developing a tasting strategy for a new market, brands need to consider who can do the tastings. Depending on state laws, the brand, distributor, or retailer may need to do the pouring. Brands should also consider where they will get the product from. Can they bring in the product or purchase it from the retailer or distributor at normal market value? If they hire an agency, does that agency need a permit to do the tasting?

To help navigate the different state laws surrounding tastings and other marketing and sales activations, Malkin recommends using the Set the Bar app. This app provides information on state-specific rules and regulations in an easy-to-understand format. The app covers a wide range of categories, including tastings, consumer contests, and coupons. By utilizing resources like the Set the Bar app, beverage alcohol brands can ensure they are following the appropriate laws and regulations and create an effective tasting strategy in new markets.

More Resources:

Park Street Newsletter

What is the Three-Tier System for Alcohol?

Preparing Your Brand For the U.S. Market

Park Street’s Roundup of Distribution How-To’s for Suppliers 

Free Guide to Getting Started in the US Market

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